A dream come true: Falcons rout Mules, win state title
COLUMBIA --- This was the only fitting finish, really, because dreams with lousy endings are called something else.
Make no doubt, this finish was splendid. Now, the journey is done, the feat is complete, the Green Dream has come true ... and it came true with as many exclamation points as you'd like.
We'll settle for three.
And did these state champions ever do it with a bang.
In one of the most dominating performances in the 51-year history of the Show-Me Bowl, the Blair Oaks Falcons dismantled the Lathrop Mules 54-0 to win the Class 2 state championship Friday at Faurot Field.
Simply the best.
"It's been outstanding to work with these young men," said Falcons head coach Ted LePage, who won his second state championship at Blair Oaks --- the first coming in 2004 during his first stint with the Falcons --- and the school's third overall.
"I got to take over a great program, first of all, and the way these guys have accelerated all year ... we played a game for 15 straight weeks and these dudes have done everything we've asked them to do. I'm very blessed to be around these guys."
Certainly, this was a dream season, but it was also an attainable goal --- as it turned out, a very attainable goal. The last three years competing in Class 3, the Falcons fell short, losing once in the quarterfinals and twice in the semifinals.
That makes this one even sweeter, especially for the seniors.
"This feels great," said senior defensive lineman Nolan Atnip. "I did it for all these guys and the new coach --- I love you coach," he said, looking at LePage. "And I'm glad I got it for my dad (who died of cancer in 2013)."
Sometimes, sports can be about a lot more than just winning a game.
In this game, Lathrop --- which had been enjoying a dream season of its own while making the school's first appearance in the title game --- had no chance of winning.
"There's not much to say, they were a way better football team than us today," Mules head coach Chris Holt said. "We couldn't have done anything different, they were just better.
"We couldn't get anything going on offense and we certainly couldn't slow them down on defense."
There was no stopping these Falcons.
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